Coronavirus pandemic: Colombia adds to call for Tokyo Olympics 2020 to be delayed if no guarantee of risk-less participation

Tokyo Olympics 2020 should be postponed if the coronavirus epidemic is not under control soon, the head of Colombia’s Olympic Committee said, joining a chorus which has called for the event’s suspension.

Reuters March 20, 2020 20:51:15 IST
Coronavirus pandemic: Colombia adds to call for Tokyo Olympics 2020 to be delayed if no guarantee of risk-less participation

Bogota: The 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo should be postponed if the coronavirus epidemic is not under control soon, the head of Colombia’s Olympic Committee said, joining a chorus which has called for the event’s suspension.

Coronavirus pandemic Colombia adds to call for Tokyo Olympics 2020 to be delayed if no guarantee of riskless participation

Representational photo. AP

Despite suspensions of sports leagues and Olympic trials around the world, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) has said it does not intend to cancel the Games, set to begin 24 July.

“The most prudent and of course the most respectful decision of the International Olympic Committee and of the organisers in Tokyo is to postpone the Games in case they can’t give the guarantee of risk-less participation,” Baltazar Medida, head of the Colombian Olympic Committee told Reuters on Thursday.

“If they don’t achieve that they undoubtedly will have to be postponed,” he said.

Delaying the Games was not discussed on a recent phone call with national Olympic committees, Medida said, though it should be if the outbreak continues over the coming months.

Japan is expected to welcome 600,000 overseas spectators and athletes to the event, which has seen sponsors pump in billions of dollars and at least $12 billion spent on preparations.

The coronavirus, which emerged in China late last year, has killed more than 10,000 people worldwide.

Follow LIVE updates on coronavirus pandemic here

“In my personal opinion I would say yes (it should be postponed) and I’m sure that the International Olympic Committee would do it because it’s a way of acting responsibly,” he said. “We cannot, to comply with the scheduling of some Games, put at risk the health of 10,500 athletes and all the people with them.”

If the Games go ahead on the scheduled dates, the performance of athletes is likely to have been damaged by the suspension of training, Medida said.

“In the case of the Games taking place, it could be that the competitors don’t arrive at their top technical level because they have had to interrupt their preparation process,” he said.

So far 29 Colombian athletes have qualified for the Games. Once qualifying competitions resume, the number could reach 95, Medida said.

Updated Date:

also read

China announces roll-back of strict anti-COVID-19 measures
World

China announces roll-back of strict anti-COVID-19 measures

In a sharp reversal, China has announced a series of measures rolling back some of the most draconian anti-COVID-19 restrictions.

Bharat Biotech’s Intranasal COVID-19 vaccine gets CDSCO approval
Health

Bharat Biotech’s Intranasal COVID-19 vaccine gets CDSCO approval

iNCOVACC is the world’s first Intranasal vaccine for COVID to receive approval for the primary 2-dose schedule, and heterologous booster dose

India's G20 Presidency: Significance and challenges as world's biggest economic powers converge on Indian soil
World

India's G20 Presidency: Significance and challenges as world's biggest economic powers converge on Indian soil

The 18th G20 Summit will be held from September 9-10 next year in New Delhi. Together, the member nations of the G20 comprise over than 80% of global GDP, 75% of global trade and 60% of the world’s population